Art Schools, Antonia White and Whales

This is an interesting discussion between Adam Buxton and Bob Mortimer. At one point they talk about how everyone Bob loves, and enjoys being around, went to art school. He has come to believe that, like a kind of national service, there should be an enforced time in art school. Ha! I love this idea!

Gerry Turley and I met while studying at Glasgow School of Art and feel bereft at the news of a second fire in the Macintosh building. Elaine C. Smith, a local resident and actor spoke brilliantly about the art school and what it means to the people of Glasgow on radio 4's Broadcasting House. (it is about 33 minutes in.)

Baby faced me at Glasgow School of Art 1993

Baby faced me at Glasgow School of Art 1993

I have recently reread the entire works of Antonia White. Her novels are some of my favourites, Frost in May is up there with Jane Eyre for me.


[Antonia White] ' suffered from chronic writer's block she claimed had its roots in her expulsion from a Catholic boarding school. While at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, White had embarked on her first novel: a tale about the lives of several "wicked" people who "indulged in nameless vices" until they finally saw the error of their ways and became devout Catholics.

Unfortunately, the nuns confiscated the book before White got round to the last bit. In the incomplete draft they read, there was no redemption, only strumpets dancing at the Trocadero - and White was made to pack her bags before she had chance to explain. This led to a disastrous coupling: a lifelong compulsion to write, and a crippling phobia of doing so.' Eloise Millar

I read this article by Austin Kleon: The Tools Matter and the Tools Matter where he thinks about how the 'mechanics' of writing the story can break writers block. Lynda Barry decided to write the first draft of her novel Cruddy by hand with Tuscan red watercolour to distract herself from sentence structure.


Wherever we travel we always seek out a local bookshop and buy a pile of books. It's always interesting to see how other countries make books for children. On our recent drawing trip to Iceland we found this beauty. 'Örleifur og Hvalurinn' by Julian Tuwim.